Signs that a person MAY have a call to the O.F.S.

  1. A person who is good practicing Catholic.
  2. A person who has a desire to follow Jesus. Jesus and his Gospel are at the heart of the Franciscan way of life.
  3. A person who has a personal faith relationship with Jesus, not simply intellectual knowledge about him. Franciscans follow Francis’ example in loving God, our sister earth and all its people.
  4. A person who is hope-filled and is willing to deal with life’s issues. Pessimists, nay-sayers, and persons who want to hide from the world are typically not good candidates for the OFS.
  5. A person who realizes that we are all sinful people in need of conversion. “Perfect” people do not need the OFS, and the OFS certainly does not need them!
  6. A person who has at least some knowledge of the persons and spirits of Francis and Clare of Assisi.
  7. A person who is willing and able to make a commitment to the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order and to live in fraternity. Basic communication skills are needed to listen to and interact with our brothers and sisters in fraternity.
  8. A person who trusts in God and realizes that God is needed in his/her life. Anyone who is prejudiced, arrogant and closed-minded will not make a good candidate for the OFS.
  9. A person who has a reverence for all of creation. Courtesy and respect are part of the spirit of reverence for all of creation.
  10. A person who is willing to live the countercultural reality of a life in fraternity. Secular Franciscans live in fraternity and are willing to share creative ideas and life with others.

Signs that a person may NOT have a call to the O.F.S.

  1. A person who already belongs to a religious Order or another “Third Order” may not belong to the OFS.
  2. A person who is a non-Catholic may not be received as an Inquirer into the OFS, although may be able to participate to some extent in the life of a fraternity. Good dialogue can determine a healthy form of participation.
  3. A person who has interpersonal problems, problems with relationships, or wants to escape home or family problems is not likely to be a good candidate for the OFS. The OFS is not a therapy group/society, although we do offer our members supportive encouragement.
  4. A person who is a “professional joiner” is not a good candidate for the OFS.
  5. A person who forces personal devotions and ideas on others is not a good candidate for the OFS.
  6. A person who is too individualistic and self-centered is not likely to be a good candidate for the OFS. The OFS fraternity must be united by a common goal, a sense of mission and a common desire to integrate life and Gospel, “going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel” (OFS Rule, art. #4).
  7. A person whose lifestyle is obviously counter to the Gospel is not a good candidate for the OFS.
  8. A person who continuously gossips, or criticizes everything and everybody, or is irresponsible in family and/or work situations, or has addictions and does nothing to change (such as seeking professional help) is not a good candidate for the OFS.
  9. A person with rigid and unbending opinions and attitudes is not a good candidate for the OFS. The OFS does not need dictators! We are involved in servant leadership and need to work collaboratively.
  10. A person who uses violence, power or prestige to control life is not suitable for a Gospel way of life.

IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT, THE FRATERNITY RECEIVES THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!!!

Adapted by David and Thérèse Ream, S.F.O., from: Lester Bach, O.F.M. Cap., Catch Me A Rainbow Too, 1999, pages 49-51. Lindsborg, KS: Barbo-Carlson Enterprises, 2005.

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